Just over a week ago I completed my second summer internship at Unboxed (here’s my blog post from last year’s internship). I had the opportunity to work on an assortment of projects allowing me to experience a wide range of new tools and technologies. He’s a list of some key factors, for me that made this summer such a success:
Being a part of a mentoring scheme
I felt that having a mentor throughout the summer was one of the most important things for me. It’s very valuable to have someone assigned as your first port of call and to have regular discussions with them about your learning. I got a great deal out having time to just talk about things you’d like to learn and look into every few weeks. I think it’s also important that you get to know and work with your mentor - luckily I was able to work alongside Jack for much of the summer.
Working on client projects
I spent six weeks on a client project this summer. It’s worth understanding the fundamental differences between internal projects and work carried out for a customer. Getting a taste of this and knowing that a customer is paying for you to work on the codebase is an extremely valuable experience. Working alongside a larger more experienced team is a safe way for interns to get stuck in.
Having time for innovation
The company offers additional bookable days for innovation. There are very few restrictions on what you do on these days and they’re something that’s important to make the most of. I was able to work with Jack on Docker - something we were both interested in looking into.
I worked on the internal Ajar/Latch project alone for just over a week. It was useful for me to have someone to talk to about problems and decisions. Even if they aren’t on the project, make sure there’s someone else you can ask for help that knows about the project and what needs doing.
Having a buddy
Finally, have a buddy! It was great to have Cale (another intern) around this summer - having someone that’s at the same stage as you makes all the difference. We got to work on many projects together and learnt a lot from each other.